Undergraduate students have the advantages of a small college combined with the benefits of an excellent law school.
What three words would you use to describe Lewis & Clark?
Tell us about the prelaw offerings at L&C and about your role as the prelaw advisor.
Any major can be good preparation for law school. I advise students to follow their own intellectual passions.
Seniors can cross-register for a small number of law school classes. More importantly, though, there are many CAS classes that allow students to sharpen their critical reading and analytical writing skills while also giving them a preview of law school. Here are some courses offered this fall that would be useful for students planning to attend law school: Environmental Law and Policy (ENVS 460); Logic (PHIL 101); Science, Politics, and Social Justice (PHIL 217); Argument and Social Justice (RHMS 321); American Constitutional Law: Equal Protection and Due Process (POLS 301); Global Justice (POLS 313); Pillars of Western Political Thought: The Fate of Democracy (POLS 312).
I’ve taught in the English department for 15 years. Recently, I began offering a law and literature class, so I was delighted when Dean Bruce Suttmeier asked me to take on advising responsibilities for students in the 3-3 and 3-1 programs. My favorite part of the job is meeting one-on-one with students and helping them navigate college in a way that sets them up for success in law school. Last year, I brought an LSAT prep course and law school application workshop to campus. I collaborated with the Career Center on an information session for prelaw students seeking internships. And I’m working with two students to reboot the Prelaw Club for next year.
How is the collaboration between L&C’s undergraduate and law schools beneficial to students?
Large universities are home to most law schools in this country. Lewis & Clark is rare because it is a small liberal arts college with its own law school! Undergraduate students have the advantages of a small college combined with the benefits of an excellent law school. Our students can attend law school events and hear law school speakers. They have access to the Boley Law Library, and they also have opportunities to be mentored by law school students, professors, and alumni.
What would prospective students find most interesting about the accelerated 3-3 program? What makes it unique?
The 3-3 program puts students on a fast-track to law school. It is ideal for highly driven students who arrive at Lewis & Clark knowing that they want to pursue a law degree. Higher education is expensive, and this program is a great way to save money on tuition.
One thing that is unique about our law school is its student-centered approach to legal education. What this means is that students in the 3-3 program will notice a lot of continuity in the education they receive as they move from the undergraduate campus to the law school. Finally, our law school is consistently ranked one of the best in the nation in environmental law, so the 3-3 has been particularly attractive for environmental studies majors.
However, the 3-3 program isn’t for everyone. It is nearly impossible to fit four years of graduation requirements into three years and also, for example, study abroad or declare a second major. Also, I like to remind students that the 3-3 isn’t the only pathway to the Lewis & Clark Law School. Any undergraduate student who graduates with a 3.5 GPA and an LSAT score at or above the median of the previous year’s entering law school class is eligible for guaranteed admission.
How many students are currently in the 3-3 program? How many have graduated?
The 3-3 program is new—I currently have 15 students pursuing it. The first cohort will move on to the law school in the fall of 2023. Students in the 3-3 program don’t actually get their bachelor’s degree (BA) until after they have completed their first year of law school classes. The undergraduate college accepts the first year of law school coursework as credit toward the student’s BA, which means that the first year of law school classes counts for both the BA and the JD.